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Current applications of machine learning in the screening and diagnosis of glaucoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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First Author: P.Murtagh IRELAND

Co Author(s):    G. Greene   C. O'Brien                 

Abstract Details


To compare the effectiveness of two well described machine learning modalities, ocular coherence tomography and fundal photography, in terms of diagnostic accuracy in the screening and diagnosis of glaucoma.


Department of Ophthalmology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin, D07 R2WY, Ireland


A systematic search of Embase and PubMed databases was undertaken up to 1st of February 2019. Articles were identified alongside their reference lists and relevant studies were aggregated. A Meta-analysis of diagnostic accuracy in terms of area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC) was performed. For the studies which did not report an AUROC, reported sensitivity and specificity values were combined to create a summary ROC curve which was included in the Meta-analysis.


A total of 23 studies were deemed suitable for inclusion in the Meta-analysis. This included 10 papers from the ocular coherence tomography (OCT) cohort and 13 from the fundal photos cohort. Random effects Meta-analysis gave a pooled AUROC of 0.957 (CI=0.917 to 0.997) for fundal photos and 0.923 (CI=0.889 to 0.957) for the OCT cohort. The slightly higher accuracy of fundal photos methods is likely attributable to the much larger database of images used to train the models (59 788 vs. 1743).


No demonstrable difference was shown between the diagnostic accuracy of the two modalities. The ease of access and lower cost associated with fundal photo acquisition make that the more appealing option in terms of screening on a global scale, however further studies need to be undertaken, owing largely to the poor study quality associated with the fundal photography cohort.

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